CoWorkers | Filmmakers


Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nick Johanson, along with Robert Larson. We are COWORKERS and we are filmmakers.

How long have you worked together?
R - 5 years? N - Yeh, we started working together at a company that produces commercials. R - We shared an office and would often brainstorm ideas while working on other projects. N - From there, we started producing our own projects and here we are… five magical years later.

What are some of your influences?
N - We’re influenced by a lot of stuff. The “masters” are always going to be there, like Hitchcock and Kubrick, but we can also pull from what we grew up on like The Goonies and Back to the Future. R - To add to that, documentaries and commercials are key influences as well.

How does today’s technology play a part in your style?
R - With the ability to take in as much info as you want, sites like Pinterest have allowed us to constantly be researching while also being a reliable source of inspiration. It’s like a melting pot of media! N - (laughs) Exactly.

What project(s) are you the most proud of?
N - One of my favorite projects is the short film we did for NERF called "Super Soaker". I remember thinking, while we were filming, that it was going to be good... I could just feel it. The Kahlua work we did was pretty cool too. R - Yeh, for the limitations we were givin, the Kahlua work was cool because we were able to make it our own. It was behind the scenes coverage, but we had creative freedom from start to finish.

Within your art, what are you the most insecure about?
N - The biggest insecurity I’ve had to overcome is the need of sharing our work. At first, I would find myself in the mindset of “it’s not good enough”, “people won’t like this” so I wouldn’t share anything. I eventually realized that though we might receive a some negative feedback every now and then; we’ll at least learn from that and grow in the process. R - There’s always a sense of pressure when delivering a final product to the client. There’s a certain level of expectations, on both sides, so we strive to do the best we can while also exceeding what the client may have expected.

How do you use one another to get through obstacles that show up during the creative process?
N - Working together, as long as we have, has made us comfortable in how we do things. I think we’re a good team in the sense that we pick each other up in spots that one of us may not be good at... R - Like our time management. We need to work on that.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in doing what you do?
R - I think creating stuff in general is one of the keys to finding any amount of success in this business. Whether it's for fun or for profit, you have to keep creating. N - Exactly, keep working and keep sharing.

Aside from the audience, what benefits are there to sharing your work?
N - I think sharing your work allows you to learn what works and what doesn't. It opens you up to critique, which can be very helpful in finding your voice. R - Yeh, sharing helps enhance your craft. You find things in the process that you may not have noticed if you had only shown it to yourself.

Last Question: What is your favorite cereal?
R - What comes to mind first is Honey Nut Cheerios. N - I knew that was going to be your favorite. I, myself, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch... with Fruit Loops being a close second.

Brian Molina | Mixologist


Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Brian Molina and I am a mixologist/barista.

What is your art?
Making the perfect drink. That involves everything from the components I use to how I shake it all up; with the end result being the moment the customer tastes that first sip.

What kind of drinks do you specialize in?
At Home Brewed Bar, we specialize in cold brewed drinks... which means we brew everything, our coffees and teas, for twenty hours. Beyond that, we also serve monthly specialty drinks along with blended beverages you might find at other establishments.

How did the idea of a strictly cold brew menu come to be?
I was sitting in my apartment one night, preparing coffee for the opening of the store we now have, and had the idea to cold brew the tea as well. Milk teas were also becoming popular at that time, so I thought it made sense to combined these two types of drinks.

What's your process for coming up with each month's specialty drink?
I always like to start out with what season we're in. Since we deal in drinks, I want to create something that compliments the weather or a special event, like a national holiday. From there, I try and figure out what drink best represents that month and then I see if I can create it.

Where do you find inspiration?
Honestly, I like to visit bars and see what they're creating for the season. They're on another level when it comes to mixing things, so they have been a great source for seeing what might work in our world.

Within your art, what are you most insecure about?
At the end of the day, I just want people to like the drinks that I make. When I make a new drink, I of course want to make something that I enjoy. But, we all like different things, so serving it for the first time can be a very nerve-racking thing.

What are you the most proud of?
That our drinks are good. I love that people keep enjoying the creations we have been able to come up with.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in doing what you do?
Pay attention. Pay attention to where you are as opposed to in your own head. When you're in your own head, you're thinking of all the directions things can could go. But, if you are paying attention, you can see what you need to see in order to get to where you need to go.

Last Question: What are you doing when you're not creating?
When I'm not creating, I'm either playing basketball or watching Bar Rescue. That show is a good source of information on how to run a successful business.

Remington Maxwell | Songwriter

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Remington Maxwell and I am a singer-songwriter.

When did you know you wanted to be a singer-songwriter?
I grew up in a musical family, so I've always known that I wanted to be involved in the music industry. What made me realize I wanted to do this for the rest of my life was the time, in fifth grade, I had locked myself in my room and sang Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry", to myself and on repeat, for seven hours. At that moment, I knew I was going to be a performer.

In what ways did your upbringing influence your future move to Los Angeles?
There were a lot of factors that influenced my inevitable move to L.A., but one of the biggest would be my involvement in the all-girl band The Hi-tops. I was eight years old when I started the band, so when you hear about Hollywood and the celebrities there; you obviously are intriqued by such a place and think it would be awesome to live there. Once I grew up and realized the entire industry was here, I knew that Hollywood was where I needed to be.

How did that confidence help you in taking that intitial jump?
Honestly, I didn't even have to think twice on moving to Hollywood. The moment I was done with high school, I packed up my things and headed west.

What does your song-writing process look like?
Sometimes, it's hard for me to get into a creative space so I'm constantly writing things down or recording melodies on my phone. Once I think I have something, I'll force myself to sit down and start writing. It might not be that "good", but figuring it out is part of the process so I might as well try.

Within your art, what are you the most insecure about?
Like I said before, getting into a creative space can be difficult sometimes. That makes me nervous. Especially when I have a writing session coming up and I need to be ready to produce content.

How do you prepare for the times you need to be in that space?
When I know I need to be in that space, I will spend the entire day doing things that will get me there. Even if it's a two-hour session, I still have to prepare for it the same way I would any other time.

Have there been times when the creativity just isn't there?
Yes, that actually happened to me the other day! I was in a session where I was the only song-writer and I had a creative block. I thought for sure the producers were going to think that I was the "worst writer ever".

How do you break through those creative blocks?
I've come to realize that creative blocks are part of being an artist. There are good days of writing and there are horrible days of writing... and that's ok. I just try to not relish on the bad ones and move on.

Last Question: What is your favorite cereal?
For a healthy choice, I like any granola. Especially the vanilla granola with almonds and cocnut. Growing up, though, it was all about Cocoa Pebbles.

URL: / IG: @remi10max / Snapchat: @remi10max

Alex Austin | Photographer

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Alexandra Austin and I am a photographer.

What drew you to the world of photography?
I've always loved looking through old family photographs, so being able to be transported back to that time is something I've always wanted to capture within my photos. That form of storytelling is very intriguing to me.

When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I became interested in photography in junior high, but didn’t start to take it seriously until high school.

What did that progression look like?
Like most photographers, in the beginning, I mainly took pictures of nature and landscapes because I wasn't sure how to capture images that were people centric. After a while though, I moved on to thinking of different concepts and ideas and implementing people into my images through fashion and portrait photography.

What pushed you into that area of photography?
Reading magazines… especially fashion magazines. Through them, I was able to realize that I wanted to photograph people and come up with ways to showcase someone’s personality as opposed to other types of photography that focus on a specific place or moment in time.

Within your art, what are you most insecure about?
My biggest insecurity is when I don't have trust in my vision for a particular shoot. The fear of an idea not being perfect, upon production, has kept me from getting out there and shooting.

How do you push past those moments of insecurity?
I find myself pushing past the insecurities when I make the decision that even though the final product may not be what was in my head; it's still my own unique work and it's now out in the world.

Where do you find inspiration?
Mainly Instagram, but social media in general. Thankfully, these various outlets allow us to be introduced to, or discover, a lot of different artists that we can find inspiration through.

What do you look for in a potential follow?
The main thing that I look for is for someone who has a vision or a clear and consistent style. To me, those two things are an indication that the person has a direction they are moving in as opposed to posting for the sake of posting.

Last Question: What are you doing when you're not creating?
Some of my favorite hobbies are cooking, reading and exploring various places around Los Angeles. If I'm not doing one of those, then I'm probably working so I can afford to learn the piano.

Kate Tonge | Chef

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Kate Tonge and I am a chef.

In what ways are you an artist?
My art is formed in the culmination of flavors, textures and the technique of making them palatable. My goal is to create an experience that is both authentic and stimulating to all five senses.

What influences your art?
The seasons and what farmers are choosing to produce at the time. They determine what I use as incredients, which in turn determines the dishes I create.

In what ways does Los Angeles have an impact on how you create?
LA has a huge impact on how, and what, I create because of the availability of fresh produce. Produce straight from the source. Since the cultural diversity of the city is so large, products from all over the world are being brought here and that provides opportunities to discover and utilize new things.

Within your career, what are you most proud of?
Honestly, my resume is fantastic. I've worked in a lot of famous kitchens and with some world renowned chefs, but I'm most proud of the integrity of my practice... the application of my experiences.

How have those experiences prepared you for what you do today?
I played a lot of soccer growing up, which was my first taste of what it was like to be a part of a team. Through that experience, I parlayed the skills I learned into what it takes to be a part of a kitchen. If I'm winning, my team is winning and that's a cool thing to be a part of.

Within your art, what are you most insecure about?
I'm most insecure about the delivery of my expertise. I'm always trying to figure out new ways to engage and inspire people to love what they're eating but at the same time I ask myself why anyone would care.

How do those insecurities affect your approach to things?
Like most artistic professions, there's a certain level of vulnerability as a chef. The fear of spending time and money on a dish, and it not being appreciated, is scary and can add additional levels of pressure to what I do.

Is some of that pressure self-inflicted?
Definitely! I'm the first to know if something isn't up to the standard of quality I continuously strive for. That's when my pride and integrity come into play. I always want to give my best because I usually only get one shot at "wowing" the diner.

Last Question: What is your favorite cereal?
I love this question! Actually, my favorite way to eat cereal is to combine a variety of cereals together (Honey Bunches of Oats, Honey Nut Cheerios and Granola). The combination of textures and flavors is so good!